Chi Cheng is gone at age 42. Early Sunday morning, Deftones lead singer Chino Moreno left this simple Facebook post: “Rest in peace Chi Cheng.”
The sad news was confirmed on the One Love For Chi website, where Mom J. wrote that he’d been taken to the emergency room at around 3 AM when his heart suddenly stopped.
Part of her heart-wrenching message to fans posted there said: “He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear…You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone.”
Former Deftones bassist Chi Cheng had been in a coma since a 2008 California auto accident. Although Warner Bros. had originally stated that Cheng was in “serious but stable” condition, it was ultimately revealed that he had slipped into a permanent state described as semi-consciousness.
Some reports had suggested that he might be improving in recent months, but he was never able to make a full recovery.
Cheng was driving and not wearing a seatbelt when he collided with another car, causing him to be thrown from the vehicle. His sister was in the car with him, but she did wear a seat belt and fortunately experienced only minor injuries.
There was an outpouring of grief on social media at the news. As one of the Deftones original co-founders, Chi Cheng will be missed.
So sad to hear news of Chi Cheng’s passing. The music industry has lost a gem. My heart goes out to… instagram.com/p/YFOQ_PmbHx/
— Ryan Bennett (@ryanbennett_) April 14, 2013
— Angela Gossow (@AGossow) April 14, 2013
Very sad news about Chi Cheng: tinyurl.com/ctfnhd2 I went on the road with Deftones in the 90s he was great company
— Mark Sutherland (@msutherlanduk) April 14, 2013
R.I.P. to my brother Chi Cheng. Words cant describe how I feel right now. My condolences to his family… instagram.com/p/YEkO2hlwEa/
— sHaVo oDaDjIaN (@officialsHaVo) April 14, 2013